I thought with the cloud cover and recent rain the fish might turn on. It's been blazingly hot and dry here in Brazoria county for weeks. Saturday, we had an inch plus spread out over the day, that good soaking rain, English style rain. Sunday morning the clouds hung around and with the previous day's rain I believed the drop in water temperature might stimulate a shallow water bite. After worship and lunch, I set out to test this idea. I don't think I've ever seen so many 2-2 1/2 inch shrimp hopping in the marsh here. The tide was moving out pretty well and the water color, green and semi-clear, wasn't too bad either. The wind was down, at least for the moment. First predator I see are flounder breaching along and in the cordgrass. I try a couple of different patterns but I can't really get to them. Flies aren't good at penetrating thick stands of cordgrass.
The water is dropping and I see in the distance birds marking reds moving down the bank. This is why I came. In my mind, I imagine the battle to come. It's a foregone conclusion that I will get my red. I've been here before. Reds cruising a shoreline busting shrimp is nothing I can't handle. My first and best slot, 28" 9.5# fell for a chartreuse Clouser in such a manner. The wind, a little stronger now, is off my left shoulder. The reds are making a steady march towards me, their minions the shrimp frantically giving way to the left and right. All I have to do is wait it out. I'm almost cocky about it. These fish aren't going to be a problem. They look big based on the wake. I'm on the fast track to redfish catching glory.
What's the saying "Don't count your chickens until they hatch"? Six times I set up and attempt to chunk a tan crack fly at them. Six times I strike out. Really it's more than that. Its repeated shots at the same fish as they close on my position. That cast was perfect you stupid red. What are you blind? But on some of the attempts , I barely get a shot off. How is that possible? It's simple, you tangle up your line around your feet, your reel, your rod, parts of your kayak that you were dimly aware existed, you can't find your fly. If you can imagine a battlefield where combatant A, that's me, is dug in and ready for combatant R, the redfish, that is what this was like. You have beaten The redfish enough to know you should win this one. Surely, the reds have probably come out on top more often than not, but not when you are this ready for them. It was a classic blitzkrieg by the reds. I would retreat, form a hasty defensive line, counter attack, only to be overcome and overran once again, six times. By the sixth time, I'm on some kind of adreniline trip, but not the good kind. I finally get a take and rip the fly right from the fish's mouth before he swallows it.
The Reds might have continued up the bank. I don't know and didn't really care. I'm whipped and literally shaking. I drift and blind cast and chunk a topwater lure for a bit just getting myself together. After a while, I get back in the game, Sort of, anyway. I lose the tan crack on some shell. I put on an olive crack . More reds show themselves cruising and moving shrimp. I get two more eats, but never have anything on longer than a fraction of a second. One eat, I set too soon, the other, I don't realize until too late I got the take. .
Loading up, I realize I am thankful for the time and freedom to take shots at fish. I'm thankful for the lesson in humility that the reds granted to me. I hope for another chance at these fish or ones like them. It was a good day, a really good day.